This is a colorful and tasty dish for Thanksgiving, or any fall/winter day for that matter. It’s a healthy meal for vegetarians and people who follow a gluten free lifestyle. ..and a great side dish for everyone else. Unless you are Paleo. Thanksgiving can get complicated when you factor in everyone’s dietary habits so just ask your guest to bring a dish and you won’t have to worry about it.
Butternut squash, with its beautiful orange flesh, is packed full of nutrients such as Vitamin A, B6 and C, fiber, potassium, and folate. Butternut squash is good for bone health, has cancer and heart protective qualities, and its abundance of antioxidants helps strengthen our immune system. There are so many types of winter squash and most would be great in this recipe.
Quinoa is quite the rage these days, but for pretty good reason! It is a complete protein so for all those not eating meat, quinoa contains all the essential amino acids. Amino Acids are building blocks of protein molecules that help your body function properly. Obviously this is very important. If you are not eating meat or dairy, you must make sure you are getting all the essential amino acids at each meal. You can eat a combination of beans and rice or a combinations of vegetables and grains to get all your amino acids, but beans on it’s own won’t provide them all.
While quinoa doesn’t provide as much protein as other grains or animal protein, it is easy to digest and does not cause bloating and digestive problems that wheat and other grains can cause. If you find yourself constantly hungry, look at the amount of protein and healthy fats you are eating and make sure you are getting enough each day.
And who doesn’t like candied walnuts….make extra to enjoy as a snack! Walnuts are extremely heart healthy and a provide a great supply of omega-3 fatty acids. Eat a handful of walnuts every day!!
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup sage leaves, packed
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. In a large bowl, mix together butternut squash, onions, coconut oil, cumin and salt until well coated. Spread onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until fork tender and lightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring broth and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until all water evaporated. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and let sit for 5 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and add squash and onions, currant and goat cheese.
4. In a sauté pan under medium heat, brown butter and sage until sage is crispy, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
5. In a small bowl, mix together walnut and maple syrup until walnuts are well coated. Spread out on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
7. Add sage and walnuts to the quinoa and serve warm.